If you're looking for a quick weekend getaway from the Gold Coast, we'd recommend making the easy, hour-long drive to Byron Bay. Home to the famous Liam Hemsworth as well as more dolphins than you can count, Byron Bay is a beach town oasis perfect for taking a break from your everyday life. It's small enough to see in just a couple of days, and with our suggestions you'll be sure to hit all the highlights.
Kayak With The Dolphins
One of our favourite beach experiences in the world has been seeing the dolphins in Byron Bay. While most companies won't guarantee that you'll see any (they don't want to disappoint their customers) you will likely see several, and they may even get very close to you! When we went, we were lucky enough to have families of dolphins swimming all around and under our boat, which was certainly a pleasant surprise. Depending on the water conditions, some of the kayaking expeditions can be a bit difficult if you're paddling your own boat, so do make sure you know what you're signing up for. And if kayaking doesn't sound like your cup of tea, you can also rent plenty of other beach gear, including snorkels, stand-up paddle boards, surf boards, etc.
Enjoy Small, Beach Town Nightlife
With a local population of under 10,000, Byron Bay is no Sydney or Brisbane when it comes to bars, clubs, and other places to spend a night out. Perhaps most notably, it doesn't have the evening hot-spot casinos of some of the bigger urban areas. Australia's online gambling businesses may be more or less universal, but you can only find public betting and gaming establishments in a few bigger cities. What Byron Bay lacks in nightclubs and casinos though, it makes up in quaint, appealing beach bars. These simple establishments tend to have patios perfect for stargazing, as well as nice local brew selections visitors will enjoy. Alternatively, Byron Bay also has some classy wine bars where you can enjoy more of a late-night, indoor vibe. Basically, you'll be set to enjoy a more laid-back style of nightlife.
Walk Up To Cape Byron Lighthouse
If you have the willpower to wake up early enough, the lighthouse in Byron Bay is a perfect spot from which to watch the sun rise. Don't worry if you stayed out a bit too late enjoying the nightlife to catch the crack of dawn, though, as the views from the area are just as beautiful throughout the day. This lighthouse actually marks the most easterly point on the Australian continent, which is just a fun piece of knowledge to have in your head if you visit. As for the experience itself, we should also note that if you bring binoculars, you may even be able to see a whale or two! You should also have a towel and a good book with you, because the beach leading up to the lighthouse is also a gorgeous place to lay out and relax.
Spend An Afternoon At The Crystal Castle
The Crystal Castle and its accompanying Shambhala Gardens are home to the the biggest crystals in the world, so given that it's just a half-hour drive from Byron Bay, you really shouldn't miss out on this magical place. Just be ready to get in touch with your inner zen as you stroll through an amethyst cave, meditate in a labyrinth, or eat a delicious vegetarian meal at the Lotus Cafe. There's also an authentic rainforest on the property, filled with the soft sound of rain and heaps of colourful flowers. In keeping with the peaceful, almost "hippy" vibe of the Byron Bay town, Crystal Castle is the perfect place to round out your relaxing weekend getaway.
We hope that with our suggestions, you can return from your weekend at Byron Bay fully relaxed and ready to take on your upcoming week!